Skip to main content

The Digital Insurer

Appian Contributor
December 15, 2016

Digital technology is reshaping virtually all aspects of life. From how you order at a restaurant, to how you change the channel on your TV, everything is evolving.

The same holds true for the insurance industry.

In their recent report "The State of Digital Insurance," Forrester Research found digitally empowered customers have fundamentally changed how they live. Until now, the insurance industry had remained unscathed by this digitization shift; but now, digital insurance professionals are finally having to address how to "bring the same expectations and behaviors to insurance."

As demand for a more digital experience from customers continues to grow, insurers are focusing their efforts to digitally transform.

Adapting to Change

Simply put, customers want a more digital experience, and insurers must adapt to meet this change.Further, creating a great customer experience requires insurers to meet customer needs across all interactions.

Traditional methods of exploring options and obtaining insurance policies are waning. In an ever-connected world, customers are doing their research on their own time through their own means. In Europe, comparison websites have overtaken agents asthe most popular way to do research on insurance products. Communication with insurance companies has also shifted to a digital format. Email is the most common way for a U.S. customer to interact with their life insurance provider, and over 23% of adults receive customer service via online chat.

In their report, Forrester concludes that with greater control of the entire process, insurance customers have become significantly empowered. As a result of this shift in power, new opportunities for business have formed. Naturally, new opportunities lead to new competitors. Insurers must understand where these competitors are trying to enter the market to limit the disruption they may cause and to respond to the market opportunities.

Meeting Future Expectations

One thing is certainÖ these digitization trends are pressuring the industry to transform. Forrester Research found:

56% of business and technology decision makers in insurance have digital transformation as a high or critical priority over the next year.

Insurers understand the growing importance of digital transformation, and the critical need to keep up with the landscape for digital insurance. Whatever future expectations may bring, insurers need to properly arm themselves with an enterprise application platform that will allow them to move forward in the digital future.

Legacy systems can't meet changing customer experience demands anymore, if they ever could. However, taking a digital transformation platform approach, with technology like our Appian low-code platform, provides a means for insurers to rapidly respond to change at a speed that matches the pace of today's digital world.

If you're interested in reading more about how insurance is changing in the wake of a more digitally connected world, you can access the complete Forrester Report here. The report explores how digital technologies are changing the industry's customers, competitors, products, and operations globally. It charts the different responses that digital teams in personal and commercial insurance lines have mounted, as well as the ecosystem of technologies to aid their digital transformation efforts. It's a great read about how insurance professionals are finally adapting in order to better serve their customers' digital needs.